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What to watch for in this year’s NBA Playoffs

“BANG!” 

You can probably imagine that being said by everyone’s favorite NBA broadcaster ESPN’s Mike Breen. And the iconic plays that go with it.  It is every NBA fan’s favorite time of the year. It’s playoff time. All eight teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference are locked in after the NBA Play-In tournament, and if the Play-In games were any indication of how the Playoffs will look, we’re in for a treat. 

2022 NBA Playoffs What to Watch For (Round 1)

2-Seed Boston Celtics vs. 7-Seed Brooklyn Nets

The most intriguing playoff series that everyone should be watching is the 2-seed Boston Celtics vs. the 7-Seed Brooklyn Nets. The Nets at one point were the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference without Kyrie Irving’s services, but then they went on an 11-game losing streak in the absence of superstar small forward Kevin Durant. The Nets aren’t your traditional 7-seed and some say they’re the best 7-seed of all time. The Nets are 1-2 in each meeting between these two teams with Durant and/or Irving on the court. 

The games Brooklyn have lost have been decided in the last minute or by a game-winning basket by Boston. Watch for Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart guarding superstar point guard Irving and Jayson Tatum against Durant. This playoff matchup is filled with stars and it is unfortunate one of these teams has to go home this early in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. 

The Process A.K.A The Philadelphia 76ers

When he first entered the NBA, MVP candidate Joel Embiid told us to “Trust the process.'' Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons, who were expected to be a part of the process Embiid was talking about, are no longer in Philadelphia. The 76ers have made the playoffs for the last 5 seasons but still haven’t made it past the Eastern Conference Semifinals since 2001, the year Allen Iverson led them to the NBA Finals where they lost to Kobe and Shaq’s Lakers. 

This year, Embiid, who averages 30.6 points per game (PPG), 11.7 rebounds per game (RPG), and 4.2 assists per game (APG) will have help from fellow star scoring threat James Harden, who is averaging 22.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 10.3 APG. This tandem also has plenty of help from a rising star Tyrese Maxey and other members of their supporting cast. With Simmons finally out of Philly, it is time for the 76ers to put up or shut up. 

Utah Jazz 

The Jazz have made the NBA playoffs for the past six seasons, and just like the 76ers they haven’t made it past the conference semifinals. Last year they were the #1 overall seed in the NBA and they missed their opportunity to make a deep run in the playoffs at the hands of the Kawhi-less Clippers in six games. Trade rumors have been swirling around center Rudy Gobert, and star guard Donovan Mitchell seems to be pretty frustrated with the team. A first round victory against the Dallas Mavericks and a deep playoff run seems a must if they want to keep their core together.

@IEnders13

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endersis@miamioh.edu

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